Karen Breeden, Family Titles Reviewer

Karen is a shining addition to the GiN staff and is highly qualified to review games designed for children. A specialist teacher who works with learning-disabled children, Karen holds a master’s degree in special education and an undergraduate degree in elementary education.|Karen believes that educational software and even purely fun children’s games are a powerful learning tool that only recently began to be explored by our industry. She feels companies have a responsibility to produce quality children’s software, and have to be mindful of whatever message the games contain.

She reviews children’s software with a mind to what children enjoy and how they will benefit from using the software. She uses her years of study in the field as well as careful observation of children working with computers to guide her in GiN reviews.

Recent Posts

Oregon Trail 3rd Edition blazes new educational ground

Once again the Oregon Trail is open for business, or at least for a virtual trip into pioneer times. The Learning Company is allowing gamers to blaze the trail once again through the game The Oregon Trail Pioneer Adventures 3rd Edition. This game in its various editions has been a popular program in schools for years, and for good reason. It remarkably involves the player in using their knowledge and also learning and applying new information in the areas of history, social studies, geography, geology and various other sciences, all wrapped up in a fun interface. The game opens with … Continue reading Oregon Trail 3rd Edition blazes new educational ground

Backyard Soccer scores with young gamers

Humongous Entertainment has developed a game that will surely give young soccer enthusiasts a kick. Backyard Soccer takes players into realistic neighborhood soccer competitions with a variety of great features that any sports fanatic (young or old) will enjoy. This game is marketed for kids from ages five to ten years old. This game has a number of clever player-controlled, customized features. The game allows players to choose from a group of thirty neighborhood children to build their teams. The designers of this game made sure to give the neighborhood children a touch of realism by making the children each … Continue reading Backyard Soccer scores with young gamers

DroidWorks uses Star Wars gang as a powerful learning tool

Lucas Learning Ltd. has created a dream program for any Star Wars fans out there who ever fantasized of building their own droids. This game is called Star Wars DroidWorks and it amazingly combines entertainment and scientific learning all into one. Parents should have as much fun solving the many puzzles in the game as their children, making DrowdWorks a truly rare find. As you enter the program, you are told that the Empire, the bad eggs of the Star Wars universe, are busy building assassin droids at a hidden droid factory on the planet Tatooine. The Rebels need one … Continue reading DroidWorks uses Star Wars gang as a powerful learning tool

Arthur mixes entertainment and education

Fans of Marc Brown’s Arthur series will be happy to know that Broderbund (now The Learning Company) has produced Arthur’s Computer Adventure. Arthur, D.W., Buster, and Arthur’s parents are all featured in this game package. This package revolves around the story of Arthur’s computer adventure. This part of the program offers a narrator reading the story with the printed words highlighted as the narrator reads them. Arthur is obsessed with a sea adventure computer game on his mother’s computer. His mother warns that he is not to touch the computer while she is at work (our hero’s downfall seems inevitable … Continue reading Arthur mixes entertainment and education

Pajama Sam 2 won’t exactly take the industry by storm

Humongous Entertainment’s Pajama Sam 2 Thunder and Lightning Aren’t so Frightening is the follow-up adventure to this company’s award winning release of Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It’s Dark Outside. Pajama Sam 2 was designed with the purpose of easing children’s fears of thunder and lightning in a creative and imaginative manner. This game begins with Sam sitting in his living room watching his favorite cartoon called Pajama Man. A thunder storm erupts outside and Sam finds himself frightened. He then realizes that he must try to put a stop to the scary weather. He finds his cape … Continue reading Pajama Sam 2 won’t exactly take the industry by storm

Carmen Sandiego grows up, adds new educational features

Broderbund’s "Carmen Sandiego: World Detective" is quite a package. It not only involves the player in detective work trying to track down Carmen Sandiego and her criminal pals through 50 countries all over the globe, but it also can lead the player to more scholastically-oriented treasures by using the package’s multimedia library, direct Internet access to a Web site with links to geographical information, a talking foreign language glossary and guided tours of the lands that you as a detective are visiting. Carmen Sandiego and her globe trotting criminal ilk known as V.I.L.E. (Villains International League of Evil) commit crimes … Continue reading Carmen Sandiego grows up, adds new educational features

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